Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The hot new word on campuses is “triggering.” The current generation of special snowflakes wants to be excused from discussing violence and other terrible facts of life, lest such discussions “trigger” a recollection of their own personal traumas (real or imagined is anyone’s guess).
The issue of triggering got a little too literal at the University of Michigan recently when the campus canceled a screening of American Sniper. The film is unavoidably violent inasmuch as it tells the story of Chris Kyle, a sniper and hero of the war in Iraq. However, it was also the highest-grossing movie of 2014, meaning that a great many Americans saw it and were somehow able to get on with their lives.
The other objection was that it’s racist. “The movie American Sniper not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim . . . rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer. . . . Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians,” according to an online petition. This depiction of Kyle is flatly inaccurate. Much of his service—and this is explicitly how it was portrayed in the film—was spent endeavoring to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, which was torturing and killing other Muslims to further its terrorist goals.
As if to conclusively illustrate what an infantilizing atmosphere America’s universities are cultivating, the scheduled showing of American Sniper was replaced by a screening of Paddington. That movie, based on the popular children’s book series about a family that adopts a stuffed bear found abandoned in a train station, presumably required no trigger warnings. However, according to Tablet magazine, Paddington author Michael Bond was inspired to create the character because of the “Jewish evacuee children he remembered seeing in the train stations of London during the Kindertransport of the late 1930s.” Contemplating a generation of children whose parents were killed in the Holocaust could prove pretty damn triggering, to say nothing of the necessary and righteous violence dealt out by an earlier generation of Chris Kyles that put an end to the horror. Bond further says of his beloved creation, “Paddington stands up for things, he’s not afraid of going to the top and giving them a hard stare.” In that respect, at least, it turns out Paddington and American Sniper are not wholly dissimilar.
While this entire episode is embarrassing and depressing, it does have a happy ending. Shortly after it was announced that the American Sniper screening had been canceled, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh tweeted: “Michigan Football will watch ‘American Sniper’! Proud of Chris Kyle and Proud to be an American and if that offends anybody then so be it!” A number of his players echoed the sentiment, and soon the American Sniper screening was back on.
Harbaugh should be applauded, but it’s a real indictment when the football program has to be the voice of reason in campus political debates.
11:42 AM, Dec 30, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Not a lot of good news coming out of Michigan these last few years. Detroit went broke, people left the state for Texas and other places where they could find jobs, and the University of Michigan football team could not seem to beat Ohio State.
Terri Lynn Land’s uphill struggle.Nov 3, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 08 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Kelly Ayotte, the Republican senator from New Hampshire, is normally quite composed, but she’s leaning forward on her folding chair completely slack-jawed, eyes bugging out. “What?” Ayotte finally says, barely above a whisper. “That’s ridiculous. That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Are we going backward?”
3:54 PM, Sep 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A TV ad from a new super PAC targets Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters of Michigan. The 30-second ad's voiceover says that "for the last six years, we've had a president and a Senate who's divided us and fumbled foreign policy, leading from behind." The ad shows images of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, former IRS official Lois Lerner, and Islamist militants waving ISIS flags in the Middle East.
2:01 PM, Aug 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Two GOP Senate candidates in blue states are running new TV advertisementss knocking their Democratic opponents over immigration. In Michigan, Republican Terri Lynn Land's campaign has released an ad knocking Democratic congressman Gary Peters for "flip-flopping" on border enforcement and being "two-faced on immigration."
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:05 PM, Aug 6, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the Tuesday GOP primaries.
Buying a Detroit Senate candidate.May 19, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 34 • By HENRY PAYNE
Countering the free-market political activism of the Koch brothers, green billionaire Thomas Steyer has pledged to spend $100 million in 2014 to elect an anti-carbon posse to Congress. Steyer’s litmus test is opposition to the import of Canadian crude oil through the Keystone pipeline—an issue on which the former San Francisco hedge-fund manager won a victory this spring when the Obama administration further delayed the pipeline’s construction after six years of study.
10:23 AM, May 7, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A Democratic super PAC affiliated with Senate majority leader Harry Reid has an ad accusing a female Senate candidate of being "backwards" on women's issues. The 30-second spot from Senate Majority PAC targets Terri Lynn Land, the likely GOP Senate candidate from MIchigan.
"Backwards: That's the direction Terri Lynn Land would take Michigan women," says the ad's voiceover. Watch it below:
May 5, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 32 • By TERRY EASTLAND
"As Justice Harlan observed over a century ago, ‘our Constitution is colorblind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.’ . . . The people of Michigan wish the same for their governing charter. It would be shameful for us to stand in their way.”
8:47 AM, Apr 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has a new 30-second ad out taking on the Democratic line that Republicans like her are waging a "war on women." Land is facing Democratic congressman Gary Peters in November, and Peters has criticized Land's opposition to the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act.
"Congressman Gary Peters and his buddies want you to believe I'm waging a war on women," Land says in the ad. "Really? Think about that for a moment." Land gives the viewer some time. Watch the video below:
8:40 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The city that President Obama was credited with “saving” – before it turned out that he hadn’t – is getting a little help from Washington as it struggles through the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.
As reported by Reuters:
Michigan officials and President Barack Obama'sAdministration are discussing a plan to free up $100 million in federal money to aid Detroit's retired city workers, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday.
1:31 PM, Apr 8, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad from a Republican primary challenger to Michigan congressman Justin Amash notes he has voted for bills supported by Barack Obama more than any other Republican in Congress. Brian Ellis, a businessman from Grand Rapids, released the 30-second ad on Tuesday.
"Amash was the only Michigan Republican to vote against a balanced budget amendment, and Amash voted against banning gender selection abortions," says the voiceover. "The fact is, Justin Amash voted with President Obama 51 percent of the time." Watch the full video below:
Two generations of Dingells is more than enough.Mar 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 25 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In Washington, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose—it’s how long you play the game. Witness the reaction last week to the announcement that Michigan congressman John Dingell would make this, his 29th term in the House of Representatives, his last. The 87-year-old Detroit-area Democrat has been a member of Congress since the 1950s, serving alongside 11 presidents, 10 House speakers, and nearly 2,500 different representatives.
But not an ordinary congressman. Mar 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 25 • By MARIA SANTOS
Representative Kerry Bentivolio once said, “I have a problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio. All my life I have been told I’m Kerry Bentivolio, and now I am a Santa Claus, so now I prefer to be Santa Claus.” Bentivolio, a 62-year-old freshman Republican from Detroit, plays Santa in parades and shows for his business, Old Fashioned Santa and Company, back in Michigan.
8:02 AM, Feb 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Americans for Prospertiy, a conservative tax-exempt organization, has a new 60-second television ad running in Michigan that criticizes Democratic congressman Gary Peters for his vote and continued support of Obamacare. The ad features Michigan citizen Julie Boonstra, who describes how she was diagnosed with leukemia but lost her health insurance coverage this year because of Obamacare's regulations.